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Heart Asia aims to convey the best cardiology research and practice from the developing regions of the world to an international audience. The journal seeks to publish work from around the world with the Asia Pacific being a region of particular focus.

Editorial policy

Heart Asia adheres to the highest standards concerning its editorial policies on publication ethics, scientific misconduct, consent and peer review criteria. To view all BMJ Journal policies please refer to the BMJ Author Hub policies page.

Articles are published under an exclusive licence (or non-exclusive licence for UK Crown and US Federal Government employees) and authors retain copyright. Articles can also be published under a Creative Commons licence to facilitate reuse of the content; please refer to the Heart Asia Copyright Author Licence Statement.

Manuscript transfer

BMJ and the British Cardiovascular Society have a facility for transferring manuscripts among all three of their cardiology journals. Authors submitting to the flagship journal Heart can choose  Open Heart or Heart Asia  as an ‘alternate journal’.

Once authors agree for their manuscript to be transferred to another BMJ journal, all versions of the manuscript, any supplementary files and peer review comments will automatically be transferred on the author’s behalf. Please note that there is no guarantee of acceptance. Contact the editorial team for more information or assistance.

Article publishing charges

During submission, authors can choose to have their article published open access for 1,950 GBP (exclusive of VAT for UK and EU authors). There are no submission, page or colour figure charges.

For more information on open access, funder compliance and institutional programmes please refer to the BMJ Author Hub open access page.

Submission guidelines

Please review the below article type specifications including the required article lengths, illustrations, table limits and reference counts. The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references. Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible.

For further support when making your submission please refer to the resources available on the BMJ Author Hub. Here you can also find general formatting guidelines across BMJ and a formatting checklist.

Original research

Authors submitting papers reporting original research data (for example, clinical research, meta-analyses, translational science) should not exceed a limit of 3000 words, eight figures and/or tables, and 30 references. Articles that significantly exceed this word limit may be returned for revision before peer review.

General guidelines on manuscript preparation
Pre-submission checklist


Use a short title that describes the key elements of your paper. Use a subtitle to indicate the study type only for a randomized clinical trial, meta-analysis, or systematic review. Other subtitles are discouraged. Abbreviations, acronyms, and brand or device names are not allowed in titles. The total title length is limited to 100 characters.


Authors of original scientific papers must supply a structured abstract of no more than 250 words under the following sub-headings:

  • Objective – include the specific study aims or hypothesis
  • Methods – include study design, setting, patients, interventions and main outcome measures
  • Results – give numerical data rather than vague statements that drug x produced a better response than drug y. Favour confidence intervals over p values, and give the numerical data on which any p value is based. Include absolute as well as relative risk numerical data.
  • Conclusions – do not make any claims that are not supported by data in the paper


Supply a minimum of 3 keywords from the list provided.

Research checklist

Authors are encouraged to use the relevant research reporting guidelines for the study type provided by the EQUATOR Network.

The key reporting guidelines are:

Completed research checklists should be uploaded during the submission process. If blank checklists are submitted, they will be returned to authors to complete with the required information.

Key questions

Authors should also complete a summary explaining the significance of their study by providing a short statement answering each of the following key questions:

  • What is already known about this subject?
  • What does this study add?
  • How might this impact on clinical practice?

The above headings must be used. Please add this in the manuscript file following the abstract.


Brief description of the background that led to the study (current results and conclusions should not be included). The study specific aims or hypothesis should be clearly stated.


Provide details of the study population as detailed in the key reporting guidelines on the Research Checklist. In addition:

  • Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable the reader to judge its appropriateness for the study and to verify the reported results.
  • When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Avoid relying solely on statistical hypothesis testing, such as P values.
  • Distinguish prespecified from exploratory analyses, including subgroup analyses.


Undue repetition in text and tables should be avoided. Comment on validity and significance of results is appropriate but broader discussion of their implication is restricted to the next section. Subheadings that aid clarity of presentation within this and the previous section are encouraged.


  • Use graphical displays of quantitative data if this is the best way to present the information.
  • Ensure that the message is easy to visualise and understand, and kept in context.
  • Avoid graphical forms that distort the data or are prone to misinterpretation.
  • Choose your graph type carefully for best visual clarity, and avoid chart ‘art’.
  • Ensure data symbols and lines can be easily distinguished i.e. more prominent than axis lines, use solid greyscale or colour lines rather than pixellated/dashed lines.
  • Avoid bar or column graphs; instead use boxplots or other graphical displays to show the data distribution, as well as mean values. Use solid greyscale or colour fills rather than patterned fills.
  • Avoid non-essential grids, background shading, or explanatory text inside the graph. Avoid legends in the graph itself; instead put labels next to the data line or include this information in the text figure legend.
  • Keep axis titles and labels brief. Use clear labels for units of measure on each axis.
  • Aim to fill the frame to avoid large areas of white space.
  • On life-table graphs, include the number of subjects at risk in each group at several time points along the x-axis.

Videos on how to best present tables and graphs in your manuscript


  • Use tables to summarize data when possible, rather than text.
  • Ensure that the data are easy to read and understand, and kept in context.
  • Use categories and sub-categories effectively to highlight patterns in the data.
  • Keep table titles, labels and footnotes brief.
  • Tables may be no longer than 2 pages in length.


The nature and findings of the study are placed in context of other relevant published data. Caveats to the study should be discussed. Avoid undue extrapolation from the study topic. Ensure wording is appropriate to the study type. A cause-effect relationship can be inferred only from randomized controlled clinical trials. Studies showing an association should avoid wording that implies causality.

Acknowledgments and affiliations

Individuals with direct involvement in the study but not included in authorship may be acknowledged. The source of financial support and industry affiliations of all those involved must be stated.

Measurements and abbreviations

Restrict the use of abbreviations (apart from conventional units of measurement) to two or three per paper. Spell out each abbreviation at first mention in the abstract and paper. All acronyms of trials referred to in a paper should be listed alphabetically and explained in a separate glossary. Measurements must be given in SI units. Blood pressure should be given in mm Hg.


Reviews are balanced accounts of all aspects of a particular subject including the pros and cons of any contentious or uncertain aspect. Although these are usually commissioned, authors are invited to discuss possible topics with the editorial office. Systematic reviews of topics of current interest are particularly encouraged.

Authors of systematic reviews should follow the PRISMA guidelines and upload their completed research checklist when submitting their manuscript.

Word count: up to 3000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words
Tables/Illustrations: up to 8
References: up to 30

Debates in cardiovascular medicine

There are several aspects of cardiology practice where there is uncertainty regarding the best approach to diagnosis or management, particularly given the constraints of practice in resource-poor countries. Debates intend to present opposing viewpoints on such contemporary issues relevant to clinical practice. All debates will be commissioned, but authors are welcome to contact the editorial office to discuss ideas for debates.

Word count: up to 2000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words (unstructured)
Tables/Illustrations: up to 8
References: up to 20

Clinical practice

These will serve as authoritative, evidence-based guides for clinicians and will cover contemporary topics relating to the practice of cardiology. These will be mostly commissioned, but occasionally unsolicited submissions may be considered. Authors are encouraged to discuss their ideas with the editorial office prior to submitting their manuscripts.

Word count: up to 2000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words (unstructured)
Tables/Illustrations: up to 8
References: up to 20

Research methods and statistics

Articles published under this section will serve to present methodologic and statistical concepts in simple terms to a non-specialist clinical audience. These will be mostly commissioned, but occasionally unsolicited submissions may be considered. Authors are encouraged to discuss their ideas with the editorial office prior to submitting their manuscripts.

Word count: up to 2000 words
Abstract: up to 250 words (unstructured)
Tables/Illustrations: up to 8
References: up to 20

Images in cardiovascular medicine

Images that highlight new applications of a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure will be featured in this section as well as brief case studies showing a clinical application or interesting presentation of a clinical condition. Articles should not exceed 250 words, 2 illustrations and 2 references and there should be no more than 3 authors. Submissions that do not adhere to these strict limits will be immediately returned to the author and not enter the peer review system. AVI or MPEG files can be included as data supplements.

You need to provide proof of consent for publication from the patient(s) described in the article. We need written consent from every patient (or guardian) regardless of whether the patient can be identified from the images.

Image challenge

This section is for unusual images that make an educational point. Since the aim of these articles is to stimulate the reader to think about the case, the title should be ambiguous and not give away the final diagnosis immediately, e.g. “Atypical chest pain in a 48 year old woman”.

Each image challenge will be presented in two parts. The first part should contain a very brief clinical introduction to a case (maximum 200 words), followed by an image and a board-review format multiple choice question designed to stimulate the reader to think about what the image shows. In addition to cardiovascular imaging, other images, such as an ECG or histology, are appropriate. The legend should not indicate the diagnosis but should simply describe the nature of the image e.g. “3D echocardiographic image of the mitral valve”. The second part (maximum 200 words) will appear separately from the case and should contain the answer. The answer should include a brief description of the key diagnostic features of the image, the outcome, and a teaching point. The answer should explain why the correct answer is correct and why the incorrect answers are not.

The quality of the image must be at least 300dpi and in .tif, .jpeg, .gif or .eps format. Videos for online presentation are also welcomed and should be in .mov, .avi, or .mpeg format.

Number of authors: 3 maximum
Word count: up to 400 words
References: up to 5


Viewpoint articles will present opinions or perspectives on any aspect of cardiology education or practice. These may be commissioned or unsolicited.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 8


These are commissioned only articles, and will usually be commentaries on other published articles.

Word count: up to 1500 words
Tables/illustrations: up to 2
References: up to 8

Letter to the Editor

Letters in response to articles published in Heart Asia are welcomed and should be submitted electronically as eLetters via the journal’s website. Contributors should go to the abstract or full text of the article in question. In the right hand column on the article webpage is a section entitled ‘Responses’. Click on ’Submit a response’ and complete the online form.

Letters relating to or responding to previously published items in the journal will be reviewed by the editor and shown to those authors of the original article, where appropriate. The authors will be invited to submit a response.


The BMJ Publishing Group journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:

  • The journal editor, an editorial board member or a learned society may wish to organise a meeting, sponsorship may be sought and the proceedings published as a supplement.
  • The journal editor, editorial board member or learned society may wish to commission a supplement on a particular theme or topic. Again, sponsorship may be sought.
  • The BMJPG itself may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
  • A sponsoring organisation, often a pharmaceutical company or a charitable foundation, that wishes to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which will be published as a supplement.

In all cases, it is vital that the journal’s integrity, independence and academic reputation is not compromised in any way.

For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines.

When contacting us regarding a potential supplement, please include as much of the information below as possible.

  • Journal in which you would like the supplement published
  • Title of supplement and/or meeting on which it is based
  • Date of meeting on which it is based
  • Proposed table of contents with provisional article titles and proposed authors
  • An indication of whether authors have agreed to participate
  • Sponsor information including any relevant deadlines
  • An indication of the expected length of each paper Guest Editor proposals if appropriate